‘An exceptionally good read, the book has the feel of the first, rough draft of history…Pithy and heart-warmingly human.’—DNA
War reporters tend to have shorter lives than most journalists, simply because they are exposed to more day-to-day risks in some of the world’s most violent places. Shyam Bhatia is one of the lucky few who has lived to recall and recount unique survival stories, including his eyewitness experience of a mini massacre on the Kabul to Kandahar highway, followed by his own detention, torture and daily threats of execution by the Mujahideen.
The Afghan experience was followed by an equally chilling episode in southern Sudan where Bhatia’s media convoy drove over a carefully concealed landmine, resulting in one colleague’s death and injuries to several others.
Just as gripping are his accounts of uncovering mass murders in Delhi in 1984, breaking the story of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, as well as his encounter with the besieged Marsh Arabs of Iraq that won him the Foreign Journalist of the Year award.
Bhatia also recounts memorable encounters with, among others, the legendary Yasser Arafat, leader of Palestine; and Benazir Bhutto before she rose to power in Pakistan.
This first-hand account of life as a foreign correspondent is packed with drama, danger, and fascinating, sometimes hilarious, anecdotes. It is also a valuable and compelling slice of late-twentieth-century history as it was made in the war zones of South Asia and the Middle East.